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The U.S. added 263,000 jobs in September as the Fed pushed to cool the economy.

The labor market remained strong in September, showing its resilience. But the persistent strength in hiring also underscored the challenges facing the Federal Reserve as it tries to curtail job growth enough to tame inflation.

Employers added 263,000 jobs last month on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Labor Department said Friday. That was down from 315,000 in August. The unemployment rate fell to 3.5 percent, from 3.7 percent a month earlier.

“If I had just woken up from a really long nap and seen these numbers, I would conclude that we still have one of the strongest job markets that we’ve ever enjoyed,” said Carl Tannenbaum, chief economist at Northern Trust.

Labor participation was little changed in September, at 62.3 percent, around where it has hovered for the duration of the year but still below where it was before the pandemic. Wages rose 0.3 percent, matching the prior month’s gain.

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